History Of Behavioral Psychology

1007 Words 5 Pages
Behavioral psychology is an interesting field, because it looks for the reasons why we act the ways we do. In this area of study are notable figures such as B.F Skinner, John Watson, and Ian Pavlov. Those figures alone, made grand advances in studying what controls our behavior, as well as methods of shaping – or reshaping – behavior through reinforcement.
Behaviorism was influenced by previous schools of psychology including positivism, functionalism, and the evolutionary ideas of Darwin. With it came some key elements such as the use of animal testing, as their behavior was very good indicators of similar human behavior. Objective psychology was an important characteristic of behaviorism as well because the goal was to strictly observe, and
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It is still a source of much research and discovery, some of which the most important aspects have come very recently from individuals such as B. F Skinner. Skinner brought along an upgraded version of behaviorism though, which became known as neobehaviorism. But the most recognized originators of behaviorism to begin with were Ian Pavlov and John B. Watson.
Ian Pavlov was a Russian physiologist studying the digestive system of dogs when he happened upon one of the key discoveries in behavioral psychology: conditioned response, which come to be known as classical “Pavlovian” conditioning. This discovery showed that a conditioned stimulus, ringing a bell, could be paired with an unconditioned stimulus, getting food, which produces the unconditioned response of salivating. Doing that regularly then makes the conditioned stimulus of a bell produce the conditioned response of
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He created, what came to be known as a Skinner Box, which was a box in which an animal would be placed that he could then deliver punishment, through electric shocks, or rewards by delivering food for certain behaviors. With this box Skinner was able to teach rats to press a lever the appropriate amount of times or at the right time in order to get food. He was able to show how these animals were learning through reinforcement. He performed many studies like this, one of which including pigeons as well, that were trained to peck at disks or buttons in relations to certain noises, lights, or other stimuli, in order to deliver their food reinforcement. Skinner often rated one of the most influential contemporary psychologist, for the discoveries and amount of testing he has done with animals to back them up, showing that reinforcement was of prime importance in learning new

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